ORLANDO PIRATES FACE A MOUNTAIN IN THE CAF SECOND LEG FINAL
By: Lucky Khanyile
Orlando Pirates faces a tough challenge in their quest for yet another African glory when they travel to Sousse in the second leg of the Caf Confederation Cup final on Sunday.
Pirates have to work hard after they allowed Etoile du Sahel an away goal in their 1-1 stalemate at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday. However Bucs are no strangers to African competition and its grueling circumstances.
The Sea Robbers are still the only team to have lifted the Caf Champions League as they did so in 1995.
Former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana forward, Helman Mkhalele said that Pirates should go there with their heads high and come back with a victory, as they are aware of what the trip entails.
“When you go to the pitch you go there to win and that is what Pirates should do. The only thing Etoile du Sahel has is the home ground advantage; of it is a physiological impact that Pirates is aware of.
Their experience in continental competition will come in handy since they have been in similar situations before, where they play in front of a hostile crowd and with hostile players. They have also played in unfavorable conditions in terms of humidity and the heat is unbearable.
So going there at this point in time with that in their mind or in them as a team, I don’t see any problem for them not winning,” said Mkhalele.
Mkhalele also heaped praises on his former Bafana teammate who is currently at the helm at the Parktown based-outfit, Eric Tinkler. He said that Tinkler is a good quality coach and is the right man to lead the Buccaneers, citing ‘external forces’ as the one that can push him out of the system.
“Tinkler has a bright future at Pirates, he is a manageable coach and he knows his job very well. He is a good motivator and also understands players’ mentality, so he has a very good future at the club. But it will only depend on the people who are quick to make negative judgments against him. That will hinder progression in his football career as a coach,” said the Caf Champions League winner.